We can, whenever and wherever we choose, successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us... We already know more than we need to do that...Whether or not we do it must finally depend on how we feel about the fact that we haven't so far. - Ronald Edmonds
Bill Jones literally stomped down the hall. He was fuming! At an IEP meeting he had argued about the work of one of the students, Clark, in his American History class. Somehow, the team of administrators, specialists and parents had turned the situation into stormy weather and he felt like he had been struck by lightning.
True, Clark had a learning disability and did need to succeed, but he was a 6'2" handsome cowboy, and he could learn if he applied himself -- he was just a lazy, laid back kid.
The IEP team wanted Jones to make adjustments for a student who couldn't take notes. Why didn't those bleeding hearts teach the kid to take notes? Mr. Jones' whole way of teaching was a sophisticated series of power point assisted lectures. These people, on the strength of one student's needs, were calling his finessed presentations into question? It was ludicrous. Besides, by doing what they were suggesting and making accommodations for one kid, he wasn't being fair and it probably would end up cheating the whole class!
Bill was understandably proud of his teaching. Many of the students named him their favorite teacher and he even had a year book dedicated to him. He was passionate about his subject, worked hard, kept updating his teaching and spent every summer developing more depth in the subject. This year he had paid for his own trip back East and walked through many of the Civil War sites to provide a more personal feel to his unit.
The more Bill thought about the IEP meeting, the more violated he felt. It just wasn't fair to ask him to change his teaching style, and what about intellectual integrity? Weren't they asking him to cheat all the students so he could provide an inclusion situation for one kid?
Assignment The storm clouds are gathering! By this time in the course, you should have some pretty strong feelings about this, yourself. [25 points]
1) Develop a series of points you will use to help Bill move from his current position to a more inclusive one. Include ways to help him feel less attacked and less defensive. [25 points]
2) Develop a metaphor that a Civics teacher might relate to that could enhance your discussion with Mr. Jones. [25 points]
3) Using the material in Wood, Chapter 12, provide a set of steps you would suggest Bill might take to move from lecture to the ideas offered in the chapter. [25 points]
4) Provide steps that a team might use to help Clark, the student, be more successful during the times that Mr. Jones uses his power point lectures. [25 points]
5) Look at the assignment assumptions on p 406 of the Wood text. How many of these apply to your own personal set of norms? Make a checklist that would assist a teacher in determining student readiness to take responsibility for completing assignments. [25 points]
6) Homework is being discussed from many points of view. Develop a homework philosophy statement for special needs youth. Using the materials on pp. 403-414 in the Wood text, make a checklist to help teachers in inclusive settings to provide appropriate practice opportunities for special needs youth. [50 points]
E-mail J'Anne Ellsworth at Janne.Ellsworth@nau.edu
Course developed by J'Anne Ellsworth
Copyright © 1999 Northern